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2012 First Base Tiers: August

The trade deadline is behind us but there were very few moves made with real fantasy impact at the first base position. Due to popular demand, the catchers — Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, and Mike Napoli — have been left out of the first base rankings just because they’re so much more valuable behind the plate. The same goes for guys with middle infield eligibility like Howie Kendrick and Michael Young. Here are our preseason, May, June, and July tiered rankings for reference, as well as our consensus second half rankings.

Tier One
Miguel Cabrera
Albert Pujols
Prince Fielder
Paul Konerko

These four remain the game’s truly elite first base producers, a position where monster numbers are expected. Konerko has cooled off a bit in the power department, which likely has something to do with the minor wrist procedure he had a few weeks ago. The rest of his production is top notch though.

Tier Two
Adrian Gonzalez
Edwin Encarnacion
Mark Teixeira
Mark Trumbo
Billy Butler
Allen Craig
Paul Goldschmidt

Gonzalez has finally started to hit as expected after three down months to start the season, a welcome sight for fantasy owners. Goldschmidt now has a clear path for playing time with Lyle Overbay being removed from the roster, though he still does most of his damage against southpaws. Craig also has a clear path for playing time, but he’s a little banged up himself at the moment.

Tier Three
Corey Hart
Mike Morse
Adam Dunn
Adam LaRoche
Freddie Freeman
Nick Swisher
Ryan Howard
Kevin Youkilis

Howard is back in the lineup but he’s yet to have any kind of real impact. After such a long layoff due to the Achilles injury, that’s not entirely unexpected. Both Hart and Freeman have been hitting the snot out of the ball lately, Youkilis not so much. He’s another guy who’s banged up.

Tier Four
Justin Morneau
Kendrys Morales
Anthony Rizzo
Chris Carter
Michael Cuddyer
Ike Davis
Carlos Pena
Garrett Jones

July was an insane month for Carter, but this has lasted all of 112 plate appearances. That walk rate (19.6%) and power output (.367 ISO) is coming down eventually and you don’t want to get caught holding the guy when it does. Sell sell sell!

Tier Five
Todd Frazier
Bryan LaHair
Chris Davis
Mitch Moreland
Eric Hosmer
Yonder Alonso
Carlos Lee
Mike Carp
Tyler Colvin
Brandon Belt

LaHair has crashed back to Earth in a big and somewhat unsurprising way, and Hosmer’s struggles continue into the season’s fifth month. I have to imagine the Royals are very disappointed that one of his six cost controlled years has been essentially lost.

Tier Six
Daniel Murphy
Matt Carpenter
Brett Wallace
Gaby Sanchez
Wilson Betemit
Brett Pill
Mark Reynolds
Ty Wigginton
James Loney
Shelley Duncan
John Mayberry Jr.
Casey Kotchman
Scott Moore
Casey McGehee
Jesus Guzman
Juan Rivera

In our spectrum of adequacy, these guys range anywhere from regrettable to participatory.

Off The Radar (injuries, minors, etc.)
Joey Votto
David Ortiz
Pablo Sandoval
Lance Berkman
Lucas Duda
Todd Helton
Luke Scott
Adam Lind
Lyle Overbay
Logan Morrison
Matt Adams
Justin Smoak
Victor Martinez
Mat Gamel
Aubrey Huff
Matt LaPorta
Kila Ka’aihue
Chris Parmelee
Daric Barton
Brandon Allen

Obviously there are lots of injuries here, some more significant than others. Votto, Ortiz, Sandoval, and Scott figure to return to their respective lineups very soon, within a week or so. Berkman, Helton, and LoMo are a little further off. Other guys like Duda, Adams, and Smoak have been sent back down the Triple-A.